You’re busted! Your cheeks are red. The jig is up. Blushing is like spray paint on your face, like a gang of blood vessels tagged your feelings on the wall of life. Whoever passes by can see it. 

The Cardio Barre teacher is cute. He is beyond cute. He is movie-star-cute. He is also Latino, and the older woman in front of me is Latina, and it’s obvious they have a connection. I think she likes the way he says her name. He chats her up while the rest of us do sit-ups that make our abs burn, and wonder when the stomach torture will be over. In the middle of butt-lifts he adjusts her torso and she turns beet red. During side raises, mister stud shifts her pelvis with his big hands and she morphs into a tomato. 

He’s being paid to do this! He’s gay! She’s wearing a wedding ring and I’m sure she loves her husband! But she has eyes. And I have eyes too. And I can’t help it, I feel lastima for her and her rosy giddiness. In the middle of an exercise class, I see this woman in her 60s become a teenager again. She is bumbling and flushed - it does not appear to be from the workout. 

The techno music ends and it’s our time to go. I can tell that she’s been on a ride, and it was one she needed. I eavesdrop like the shameless person I am while I pretend to tie my shoes, listening to her profusely thank the hot-babe-instructor. She leaves as if she’s holding on to a memory or an idea or an in-some-other-life possibility. I smile at the graffiti of her expression. It reads “Excitement Wuz Here!” which is the prettiest kind of street art. 

p.s. Of course I see her every week and she never misses a class. Then again, neither do I.